Multiple People Shot In New York City & Police Warn People To Avoid Lower Manhattan — UPDATE
According to the New York Police Department, several people have been injured in the wake of a shooting in Lower Manhattan, where police also responded to reports of pedestrians being struck by a vehicle. Police report that at least one individual was in custody, and it is not yet clear whether the nearby incidents are connected. UPDATE: Initial reports indicated multiple people were shot. However, officials later stated that the injuries may have occurred due to a collision caused by a vehicle crashing into pedestrians.
Eric Phillips, press secretary for New York mayor Bill de Blasio, tweeted shortly after the incident and said that there was no imminent threat while de Blasio had been briefed about the reports with preliminary details. "Mayor’s been briefed on extremely preliminary info. NO active threat," the press secretary told Twitter.
Authorities say that at least six people were killed while 15 people were injured. An official told NBC News that the incident was presently being investigated as a possible terrorist attack.
According to sources, a box truck driver reportedly drove on the wrong side of the road and collided into the bicycle lane where several people were apparently injured. Sources then say the driver crashed into a Home Depot rental truck and came out of his vehicle reportedly carrying a weapon. Sources at the scene claim that the NYPD officials then shot the driver.
At this moment, according to authorities, the driver is now in custody. On Twitter, the NYPD advised New Yorkers to avoid the general area of West Street and Chambers Street. "Due to police activity, avoid the area of Chambers Street/West St. One person is in custody. Expect many emergency personnel in the area," the police department said.
On Twitter, the NYPD stated that the suspect struck "multiple" people after driving into the bicycle lane which appeared to be a "purposeful" act.
"There are several fatalities and numerous people injured," the NYPD tweet. The authorities said that the suspect produced what appeared to be a firearm, which led the NYPD officers to open fire on him. The NYPD has warned locals from entering the area where the department has deployed a large number of heavily-armed security personnel.
Photos and videos purportedly emerging from the incident revealed several bodies on the ground while the NYPD had cordoned off the area. In a statement shared with WABC, a witness named Ramon Cruz claimed that he saw a man step out of his car and begin "screaming in the street." Cruz added, "He look frustrated, panicked, confused. From there, a whole bunch of customers started running past me, yelling, 'He's got a gun! He's got a gun!'" But Cruz went on to say that he "did not see any gun."
Another witness told NBC News that he saw a man come out with a "biker jacket." The witness said, "A guy got out with his biker jacket and started shooting up the place."
According to NBC News, some Stuyvesant High School students claimed to have heard gun shots at the scene. Sources state that the truck drove at least 10 blocks before it allegedly hit the other vehicle and on its way, it reportedly hit a school bus. One video shared on Twitter by Myles Miller was supposedly from the incident and showed a heavily damaged school bus. Miller tweeted, "Paramedics removing victims from mangled school bus outside Stuyvesant High School."
Reports indicated that both de Blasio and New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo had left for the scene while a White House spokesperson told ABC News that Donald Trump had been brief about the incident.